By

William Milsom

Update
19th April, 2022

When a business operates internationally or seeks overseas expansion, its communication must adapt to meet their new audience’s language and culture. This transition from a mono- to multi-lingual audience should often start with language optimisation in the form of website translation and integrating Hreflang Tags.

Hreflang Tags are a simple enough concept, but their correct input is vital for attracting global audiences and improving international SEO.

Today we answer the Hreflang tag FAQs of Marketing Professionals, so feel free to skip ahead to find the answers that suit you:

- What are Hreflang Tags?

- Where to put Hreflang Tags?

- How to add Hreflang Tags

- How to add Hreflang Tags to WordPress

- Should I add Hreflang Tags to XML sitemap

- How does Hreflang tags improve SEO

What are Hreflang Tags?

The purpose of Hreflang Tags is to tell search engines like Google which page to show for a specific region or language.

An Hreflang Tag is a HTML attribute that indicates what language search engines should deliver your web pages in.

The concept is simple, but correct input and integration are often overlooked.

When Web developers upload Hreflang Tags it is all too easy to overlap or mistakenly input the incorrect return links, x-default, region codes and language code, leaving Google in the dark, an outcome we marketers must constantly avoid.

Where to put Hreflang Tags?

Google Search Central recommends placing the tag in one of three locations:

1) On the XML sitemap

2) As a link in the HTML head of the page

3) In the HTTP header

How to add Hreflang Tags to WordPress

Where there’s a widget there’s a way! WordPress has one of the simplest forms of Hreflang Tag implementation either via a plugin or by using the theme editor.

Plugins such as MultilingualPress and PolyLang automatically upload Hreflang Tags once you have assigned a target language.

If you are worried that plugins may affect the performance of your website, you can manually enter the Hreflang tag by editing your header.php file which is located in the Appearance > Theme Editor section of WordPress.

Should I add Hreflang Tags to XML sitemap?

Yes, adding Hreflang Tags to your XML sitemap will essentially tell Google the exact pages you want to feature alternate languages on and then index them accordingly. It also saves you the trouble of adding code to individual pages.

How to check Hreflang tags are working?

Hreflang Tags are all too often incorrectly inputted on websites resulting in Google failing to index your alternative language pages. It’s always a safe bet to double check the Hreflang tags to ensure this isn’t occurring.

We suggest using a free online Hreflang Tag checker, such as, Sitrix’s Hreflang tag tool or Merkle’s Hreflang tags testing tool.

How does Hreflang Tags improve SEO?

Hreflang Tags are a must for international SEO, here’s why:

· It tells google which language and country to target for a specific page on your website

· It ensures that search results are delivered in the target language

· It creates a better search experience for those searching in different languages

· It helps Google understand your site when they index and rank your webpages

At ilc we provide international digital marketing support for marketing agencies with clients seeking international expansion. Our team of native speaking translators can tailor keyword campaigns to ensure your clients page is popping up on search results worldwide.

Visit the ilc website to find out more - https://www.pabcom.co.uk

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